Toronto, ON — Carbon emissions in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) increased by four million tonnes, or eight per cent, in 2022, marking the sharpest increase since 2015.
With the increase in carbon emissions, the rate of annual decrease needed to hit Ontario’s 2030 targets grows steeper, reports the Atmospheric Fund (TAF). It is estimated that on the current path, a nine per cent decrease per year is needed.
“This year’s edition of our GTHA emissions inventory illustrates the need for a dramatic acceleration in climate action. Despite the growing adoption of climate policies and clean technologies, overall emissions will increase by eight per cent in 2022. Emissions increased across all regions and all sectors,” said Bryan Purcell, vice president of policy and programs at the TAF.
Buildings led the way in overall emissions for the region in 2022 at 46 per cent. Additionally, natural gas emissions in buildings used for space and water heating increased by eight per cent.
Increases in carbon emissions were seen in all sectors — transportation (up 36 per cent), industry (up 15 per cent), waste (up three per cent), and agriculture (up one per cent).
The report also highlights how emissions associated with electricity generation are a growing concern, rising by 26 per cent in 2022.
However, the report adds growing interest across the GTHA in adopting key climate mitigation technologies, like heat pumps, electric vehicles, and renewables.
While emissions have increased, the report highlights how electric vehicle sales increased by 75 per cent and transit ridership increased by 58 per cent across the GTHA.
Additional recommendations from the TAF included a review of carbon emission reduction policies and programs such as retrofit programs that support energy efficiency and switching from gas heating to electric heat pumps.